Because of the over-active trip to Petra the day before, AJ and I opted to have a relaxing day on Day 9, rather than heading to Egypt to go to Mount Sinai.
Sleeping is was glorious. We both woke up on our own around 6 a.m., but then fell back asleep for another hour or so. We then got up for the day and eventually made our way down to get some breakfast. We discovered we were not the only ones who opted not to go to Mount Sinai, as we saw a few folks from our group in the dining room as well.
After breakfast we headed outside to go touch the Red Sea (upon doing this, I informed AJ that we had touched the Sea of Galilee, Mediterranean Sea, Dead Sea and Red Sea on our trip!) and look at the views for a few minutes.
What’s interesting about that area of the Red Sea is that you can see both Jordan and Israel from our hotel’s location. In the sea – just a few hundred yards from where swimmers are enjoying their morning constitution – are two large tankers, one from Jordan and one from Israel. Jordan and Israel have a peace treaty right now, but that doesn’t mean they’ve "let down their guard." No, they each have a ship in the harbor that sits all day long looking at the other ship, on the off-chance something should happen. Then at the end of the day, the ships go back to their respective countries, dock, and the soldiers head home for dinner. The next day, it’s back on the ships, sit in the harbor looking at each other all day, go home. Day in, day out.
And meanwhile, Eastern Europeans and Russians on vacation are swimming nearby. So weird.
After exploring the boardwalk for a while, and sitting on a bench doing some people watching (one of AJ’s favorite pastimes), I took AJ in to our hotel’s hair salon to get her hair done. She had wanted to get it washed and set, but the salon didn’t have rollers, so instead AJ just had her hair washed and blown out. She HATED it. *lol* After her appointment we went out to get a late lunch on the boardwalk and she kept complaining about her hair blowing in her face. I kept telling her that her hair looked nice, but she refused to believe a word of it!
We sat in an outdoor cafe overlooking the water and enjoyed a leisurely lunch while a horde of cats looked on. One, in particular, sat at my feet and just stared up at me the entire meal. We tried to secretly give the cats some food, but they were very picky. They did not like french fries at all, but did take some chicken from AJ.
Once lunch was done, we went back to the room where we each took a nice long nap before heading down to see everyone from our tour group and hear about their Egyptian adventure during dinner. Turns out we were glad not to go – border patrol took forever, as did the drive to Mount Sinai. Once there, they only stayed at Mount Sinai for an hour or so before trekking all the way back. That couldn’t have been fun.
After dinner, we headed back to our room to begin the process of packing our bags for the long trek home which would begin the following day. By this time in our trip I had a terrible sinus infection and was not looking forward to coughing and sneezing and sniffing my way from Israel to NYC to DC. Yes, I was going to be "that person" that made everyone on the plane get sick. Fortunately, packing did not take long and we promptly went to sleep knowing that the next 48 hours were going to be long, tiring, and seemingly never-ending.
I wasn’t wrong.